Cerith Wyn Evan’s current exhibition at White Cube is full of ideas surrounding the flow of energy via materiality in attempt to create an integration of the word around us. My immediate reaction to the space was that it was intriguing. The placement of the three 4ft potted plants juxtaposed to the five hanging neon sculptures was interesting and spending time amongst it was like stepping into a futuristic forest. After taking a close look at the luminous neon forms entitled Noh I,II & III, I found myself questioning my imagination as I looked over to one of the plants and thought I saw it moving. I guessed this was perhaps the attempt of the brightly lit work, to cause an illusion of the plants moving when they infact were not. As I got closer to them I could see they were sitting on small circular turntables, each one spinning at a different speed and in a different direction. Nothing felt static in this room. Sounds played loudly, the noise of long notes played out of a sculpture consisting of 19 ‘breathing’ glass flutes. This mechanically operated piece’s sounds reverberated throughout the entire exhibition.
the illuminating gas/
The overbearing sculptures were a maze of complex lines suspended from the ceiling inspired by Japanese Noh theatre (where they take their name). They question our notions on perception and subjectivity whilst remaining aesthetically elegant and mesmerizing. The space itself was incessantly inviting. To walk in between the light of the sculptures and around the composition was to become apart of the work and it’s arching comment on duration and time were echoed in visitors inability to leave it in a hurry. This theme is also seen in the subtlety of the work in the corridor of the gallery. Wyn Evans has reconfigured an existing light fixture to blink a morse code narrative describing the relationship between the sun and moon during a solar eclipse. Overall I enjoyed the artist’s use of the space and their vigour in creating work that challenges our common perceptions of reality and cognition.
Cerith Wyn Evans / White Cube/ Visited 28th October.